Five months after the prices of 400 prescription drugs in Australia went down by up to $20 or 60 percent under the country’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), another 2,000 medicine brands would cut their prices by up to 50 percent. The price cuts would take effect in October.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley announced on Sunday that one-third of medicine brands under the PBS would be cheaper by up to $20 per script per medicine. The savings, estimated to total to over $200 annually, would be higher for Australians taking multiple medication every day.
Expected to benefit from the lower prices are patients suffering from multiple chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes and gastric reflux who could save up to $400 a year on their medical scripts. It is expected to ease cost pressure on several long-standing medicines on the PBS that are life-threatening such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Ley cites as an example a patient who takes metformin 500mg tablet two times a day for diabetes, pantoprazole 40g tablet daily for gastric reflux, alendronate 70mg and colacalciferol 140microgram tablet daily for osteoporosis, and enalapril with hydrochlorothiazide 20 mg/6mh tale daily for high blood pressure would save monthly $34.19 or $410.28 yearly.
The 1,600 brands, or 80 percent of the more than 2,000 brands of medicine would represented a direct savings to consumers. The remaining 20 percent, or those priced above the general PBS co-payment of $38.30, would still be a savings for taxpayers.
The savings, totaling almost $900 million over the next four years, would be used to subsidise new breakthrough medication like the $150,000 melanoma treatment Keytruda.
Read more at http://www.ibtimes.com.au/over-2000-medicine-brands-australia-lower-price-50-beginning-october-1527765